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Opium For The People - 1.10.2021

With influences from The Sex Pistols to Oasis, Berlin-based Ponte Pilas brings to the fore what rock 'n' roll is really all about: unhealthy amounts fun. The Scottish-Ecuadorian quartet place sharp-edged riffs next to irresistible melodies to make their songs highly infectious. This is true of new single "Opium for the People”, a driving, powerful diatribe against these troubling political times:


“Part post-mortem, part call to arms, the song puts a harsh spotlight on the crippling neuroses endemic in contemporary society. A political satire in the mould of films such as Brazil or Ideocracy, the song paints a dreary portrait of the ignorant passivity of Western culture: why fight for change when we can bury our heads in the sand?”


Written in response to the widespread success of right-wing populist political movements across Europe, the song questions their appeal and highlights the dangerous latent beliefs that underpin them. Why these gain prominence in these times of global crisis, which would seem amenable to empathy and solidarity is of great concern: they present a cheap and easy solution to complex problems. The titular Opium refers to these political salves, to their simplistic and reductionist conclusions, as well as a media and cultural climate that seeks to placate rather than inform.


With a tight, marching rhythm, the song announces itself with a steadfast intensity. Singer Bolland, with a caustic delivery, intones the ills of this ‘brave new world’ through the verses, offset with jagged trebly guitar lines. Launching into the chorus, the sardonic tone is tone is raised to a call and response between voices placating dissenting thought: “it’s fine, fine, fine.” Lyrically taking inspiration from the likes of William Burroughs and J. G. Ballard, the song stands as a dark, bitter tonic. The song fades out with a fading refrain, “speak see hear no evil / opium for the people” echoing through the listener’s mind.


The four members of Ponte Pilas have been recording music together since 2017. The latest recording was done exclusively with original 60s and 70s equipment at Impression Recordings in Berlin. Together with recording engineer Robbie Moore (L.A. Salami, XXX), mixing engineer Andy Baldwin (Björk, Oasis, The Who) and mastering engineer Mandy Parnell (Black Saloon Studios), a new single of massive power has been created, generating much excitement.


Berlin-based rock ’n’ roll band Ponte Pilas, namely Scottish frontman Calum Bolland and Ecuadorians Daniel Rivera (drums), Ismael Rivera (lead guitar) and Alejandro Iturralde (bass), formed in February 2017. With catchy guitar riffs, a driving rhythm section and anthemic choruses, the band’s chaotic live shows quickly earned them a reputation as one of Berlin’s most exciting up-and-coming groups.


    Drawing comparisons to Oasis, the Hives and the Stooges, Ponte Pilas’ music shows a keen ear for musical hooks and combines elements of both contemporary and classic rock. Their lyrics are cinematic in scope, with influences such as Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Bukowski. These songs are performed live with an intensity and energy that works audiences into a frenzy.


    Having played legendary Berlin venues such as SO36, SAGE Club and selling out a headline show at Musik & Frieden, last year Ponte Pilas toured throughout Germany and Europe. With a very simple philosophy, to make each show as wild and unique as possible, Ponte Pilas make the music that they love. Support tours with The Wedding Present and The Legendary Tigerman followed.


    Awarded the 2019 ‘Listen to Berlin’ Public Prize by the Berlin Music Commission, along with a showcase at the Most Wanted: Music convention, the band are garnering industry acclaim. Having enjoyed a German tour with post-punk starlets King Nun, the band recorded a new E.P. ‘So It Goes…’ with Impression Recordings’ Robbie Moore in June 2020. This will be released, following singles from the record, in early 2021.

Management & Label

Juan Velez           -


Single #6 - Opium For The People

Part of EP 'So It Goes'


Opium For The People - Artwork

Opium Artwork.jpg





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